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New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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UNO to outsource janitorial and grounds work, saving money but putting 80 jobs in jeopardy

Advocate file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- University of New Orleans students walk the quad. in this file photo.

The University of New Orleans plans to outsource its building services work this fall, a cost-cutting measure that the cash-strapped Lakefront school expects will save more than $1 million in five years at the expense of nearly 80 workers whose jobs are thrown into question. It’s the latest in a series of moves that UNO has… Continue reading →

UNO is training teachers in cybersecurity

The University of New Orleans is giving intensive cybersecurity training to high school teachers from around the country this week and next. The program, known as GenCyber, allows teachers to learn about cybersecurity technology, design their own curricula and gain the expertise needed to train future generations of cybersecurity experts. GenCyber is… Continue reading →

ACT scores increase across Louisiana; see how New Orleans area fared

While still low compared with other states, the average score in Louisiana on an important test of college readiness rose in 2015, officials said Thursday. The ACT exam shows how public and private high school students fared on questions about English, math, reading and science. The state’s average score, wrapping all subjects together, was a 19.4… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Public School System hires new chief academic officer

Debra Cooper, chief academic officer Jefferson parish public schools.

The Jefferson Parish Public School System’s new chief academic officer is not the person many expected would get the job. Debra D. Cooper, who has been the principal at L.W. Ruppel Academy for Advanced Studies in Gretna since 2009, will be the system’s new second-in-command, Superintendent Isaac Joseph announced Wednesday. Cooper was selected after Continue reading →

Interim New Orleans charter school CEO puts $13K on school credit card, uses money at fancy clubs, restaurants, flights

D’Juan Hernandez, former Milestone Academy interim CEO, racked up up $13,000 worth of expenses on a school credit card, including $4,000 in payments to Tulane University, which his daughter attends, and $500 for plane tickets to Florida, where his family vacationed.

D’Juan Hernandez, a New Orleans attorney and businessman, spent less than a year as head of a struggling local charter school called Milestone Academy. But he managed at least one significant accomplishment before resigning last month: racking up $13,000 worth of expenses on a school credit card, including $4,000 in payments to Tulane University, which… Continue reading →

Tammany school board extends Folse’s contract through 2019

Unlike many school systems in Louisiana, St. Tammany’s is usually a collegial place — the board and administration get along, and with the exception of certain curricular issues, the public seems satisfied with the product. Thursday, the School Board reinforced that last item by extending Superintent W.L. “Trey” Folse III’s contract by three years,… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish School Board meets Thursday to vote on Patricia Mendoza as new chief academic officer

The Jefferson Parish School Board will vote Thursday on whether to approve Patricia Mendoza as the school system’s new chief academic officer. If approved, she will replace Michelle Blouin-Williams, a longtime administrator who served as interim superintendent after James Meza retired early this year. Blouin-Williams lost her bid for the permanent post when the board voted… Continue reading →

Wholesale makeover of New Orleans schools after Katrina sows impressive progress, bitter recriminations

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Katina Williams teaches her kindergarten class at Arthur Ashe Charter School in New Orleans, one of many that have come on the landscape since Katrina Friday, September 6, 2013.

Georgia lawmakers must have whiplash. Back in February, Gov. Nathan Deal flew a whole delegation of them down to New Orleans with him so they could see up close how charter schools have transformed public education here, an approach the governor hopes to copy in his own state. They toured some of the best-performing charter schools… Continue reading →

Orleans Parish school system taps two from Jefferson Parish

The Orleans Parish School Board has hired two high-level administrators who worked under former Jefferson Parish schools Superintendent James Meza, one of whom was recently passed over to succeed him. Michelle Blouin-Williams, who was interim superintendent for the Jefferson Parish Public School System until the board selected Isaac Joseph as permanent superintendent in May,… Continue reading →

Press Club of New Orleans awards scholarships to two mass communications career hopefuls

Former Press Club of New Orleans President Kevin Mumphrey with Southeastern Louisiana University sophomore Maria Goddard on June 15, 2015. Goddard was one of two Louisiana college students who received a $2,500 scholarship from the Press Club.

The Press Club of New Orleans recently awarded a $2,500 scholarship to Southeastern Louisiana University sophomore Maria Goddard and University of Louisiana at Lafayette junior Holly Duchmann. Goddard and Duchmann each received checks meant to support their pursuit of a career in journalism, public relations or other mass communication fields. The two were… Continue reading →

New Orleans schools show ‘dramatic’ improvement since Hurricane Katrina, report finds

After Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans educators embarked on what has been called the nation’s biggest experiment in school reform. Nearly a decade later, a decentralized system of independent charter schools stands in the place of a traditional public school district with neighborhood attendance zones. But it is working? Analysts at the Cowen Institute at… Continue reading →

New Orleans Parish School Board superintendent Henderson Lewis spends $31,000 to renovate his office

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Orleans schools superintendent Henderson Lewis  works in his renovated office Thursday, June 11, 2015.

Cedric Grant, the recently installed head of the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board, is apparently not the only local official who had office renovations in mind as he stepped into a new job. Grant spent about $60,000 on paint, furniture and equipment to upgrade his new surroundings at Water Board headquarters on St. Joseph Street.… Continue reading →

Significant layoffs coming as part of reorganization of Orleans Parish School Board central office

Henderson Lewis Jr.

In his first big move on the job, Henderson Lewis Jr., the new superintendent of the Orleans Parish School Board, is preparing to roll out the initial phase of a district reorganization plan, including a new office hierarchy and a significant number of layoffs. Lewis, who was hired in March, has talked openly about the likelihood… Continue reading →

School leaders at SciTech Academy in New Orleans resign after evidence of cheating

The school leader and his No. 2 at SciTech Academy, a charter school housed in the old Laurel Elementary School building in the Irish Channel, resigned last week after officials with the school’s charter management organization found out that they had allowed cheating on an internal diagnostic exam, according to the group’s CEO. Gary… Continue reading →

Civic group gives Orleans School Board a mixed grade

A coalition of local civic groups that has pledged to keep an eye on the city’s School Board gave board members a mixed progress report on Wednesday. Forward New Orleans Public Schools offered praise for some of the board’s most important votes over the past two years but pointed to stalled or nonexistent progress on… Continue reading →

Jesuit High School names U.S. Navy chaplain as next president

Monaca, Pa., native Cmdr. Christopher Fronk reads during a recent Catholic service. The command chaplain for 2nd Marine Division (Forward), joined by his religious program specialist, Worcester, Mass., native Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Hawthorne, travel throughout the divisionââ¬â¢s area of operations visiting with Marines and sailors and providing Catholic services for those who wish to participate.

Jesuit High School’s board of directors announced Tuesday it has selected a Jesuit priest who is serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy as its new president, replacing the Rev. Raymond Fitzgerald, who was sidelined last year after being diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The Rev. Christopher Scott Fronk, a member of… Continue reading →

Delgado awards diplomas to 764 at spring commencement

Delgado Community College honored 764 graduating students Tuesday during its spring commencement exercises in the Sen. Nat G. Kiefer UNO Lakefront Arena. Dr. Kathleen Curphy, vice chancellor for academic affairs at Delgado Community College, presided over the exercises. She was joined in presenting the graduates and faculty by Shelly Tyler, president of the Delgado Faculty Senate. Dr.… Continue reading →